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GOP leaders to renew push for voter ID law in Minnesota

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka
MPR’s Tim Pugmire reports: “Republicans in the Minnesota Senate said they will renew their push for a voter ID law during the election-year legislative session that begins next month, saying the requirement would help prevent voter fraud. But Democrats say they have no interest in taking up the issue that state voters rejected in 2012, when a proposed constitutional amendment failed by a margin of 52 percent to 46 percent. Still, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, said he thinks more Minnesotans are now open to the idea.”

In the Star Tribune, this from Miguel Otarola, “This year, Minneapolis leaders hope the stage is set to move forward with the city’s first amphitheater, the centerpiece in a large-scale transformation of 48 acres of riverfront in the North Side. With an estimated cost of $49 million and capacity for 10,000 concertgoers, the amphitheater would host some of the world’s biggest artists and become a national destination, say city officials and First Avenue Productions, which would run the venue. To make it happen, the city is lobbying the Legislature for $20 million in bonds, arguing that it would be an asset to all of Minnesota.”

Laurel Beager of the International Falls Journal writes: “Counterfeit currency valued at $900,000 was seized Friday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the International Falls Port of Entry. The counterfeit United States currency was discovered in a commercial rail shipment originating from China. Due to the vigilance of CBP officers, a rail container was referred for a Customs Exam Station inspection on Dec. 14, 2019, CBP said in a release. During the examination, CBP discovered 45 cartons of possible counterfeit currency in the form of $1 bills with a total face value of $900,000. The United States Secret Service was contacted and determined the currency to be counterfeit.”

Says Adam Belz for the Star Tribune, “The back end of a cow generates 80 pounds each day of what Dennis Haubenschild, who owns 750 of them near Princeton, refers to as a ‘non-depletable renewable resource.’ Now, technology and policy are aligning for farmers to take advantage of all that manure in a surprising way — by turning it into gas that can fuel vehicles. Haubenschild was among the first dairy farmers in the state to experiment with biogas production, and he uses manure-turned-gas to generate heat on his farm. But climate change policies in California and Oregon have created a different, national market for the gas that comes from livestock manure.”

The New Hampshire Union Leader says, “If there is to be any realistic challenge to Trump in November, the Democratic nominee needs to have a proven and substantial record of accomplishment across party lines, an ability to unite rather than divide, and the strength and stamina to go toe-to-toe with the Tweeter-in-Chief. That would be U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. …Trump doesn’t want to face her. He is hoping for Bernie, Biden, Buttigieg or Warren. Each has weaknesses, whether of age, inexperience or a far-left agenda that thrills some liberals but is ripe for exploitation in a mainstream general election. Sen. Klobuchar has none of those weaknesses and the incumbent needs to be presented a challenger who is not easily dismissed.”

For The Hill, Justine Coleman reports, “Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) channeled the musical Hamilton while calling for witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial, saying she wants to hear from ‘the men in the room where it happened.’ Klobuchar said on ABC’s ‘This Week’ that she is calling her fellow senators to push for additional witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial, specifically former national security adviser John Bolton and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.”

For MPR, Tim Nelson and Andrew Krueger say, “Several dozen mushers and their dog teams hit the trail Sunday for the annual John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon in northeast Minnesota. The main event is a 300-mile race that starts near Duluth, winds its way along the North Shore and Gunflint Trail, and ends at Grand Portage. Some years the teams have to contend with bitterly cold conditions. This year? Not so much. Temperatures at the start should be about 30 degrees above zero.”

Also from MPR, this from Marianne Combs and Krueger (again): “Runners, skiers and bikers will set off from International Falls early Monday for the 16th annual Arrowhead 135 race. More than 150 athletes are signed up for this year’s race. It’s a round-the-clock, 135-mile trek across the northern Minnesota wilderness — with minimal or no outside support.”

Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by Cameron Parkhurst on 01/27/2020 - 07:19 am.

    The GOP is the master at proposing solutions to problems that are not proven to exist.

    • Submitted by Brent Stahl on 01/27/2020 - 09:50 am.

      The “problem” the Republicans are trying to solve is voting turnout by groups they think likely to vote DFL. We’ve been down this road before, including a state Constitution amendment that was defeated in the 2012 election. The subject is an absolute red herring.

      Consider the case of “voter fraud” in Kansas and the career of Kris Kobach. (Easy to find with Google). He made a career as Kansas Secretary of State and consultant to Republican states by claiming to stamp out out “voter fraud” —despite never finding any. Trump appointing him to lead a national commission on this subject and it was disbanded because they could not credibly find any instances of same. What such scrutiny finds are a tiny number of instances of clerical errors.

      Kobach ran for governor of Kansas in 2018 and managed to lose to a Democrat–which is hard to do in Kansas–because voters by then were quite fed up with his phoniness. Senator Gazelka in Minnesota should take heed and instead think about actual policy ideas.

      • Submitted by Dennis Dunnigan on 02/24/2020 - 05:16 pm.

        Nope… not true. My interest in this issue is to insure the integrity of the vote in this country. I’d like to be able to say to anyone who insinuates the vote is somehow tainted… that is not true and we can prove it.

  2. Submitted by Henk Tobias on 01/27/2020 - 09:44 am.

    “…$49 million and capacity for 10,000 concertgoers, the amphitheater would host some of the world’s biggest artists and become a national destination…”

    Obviously the Arts are doing this wrong. For a long time now we’ve been told that it costs Hundreds of Millions, in one case over a Billion, dollars to create a national destination. They really need to up their game, $49 million is way too cheap.

  3. Submitted by Alan Nilsson on 01/27/2020 - 10:44 am.

    The right wing New Hampshire Union Leader endorses Klobuchar for the upcoming Democratic primary?!
    In the 2016 general election, for the first time in 100 years, they did not endorse the Republican candidate: The Union Leader endorsed the Libertarian candidate.

    This is not an endorsement that any Democrat should want. We can be thankful that this newspaper’s subscription and advertising bases have been declining over the past decade.

  4. Submitted by Matt Haas on 01/27/2020 - 10:52 am.

    Well, when one’s ideology is devoid of new ideas, I guess recycling old, failed ones is one’s only recourse. Frankly I’m shocked they aren’t trying to pass heartbeat legislation and re-ban gay marriage (federal law be damned). After all, they’ve no shot at any real power in this state for at least another generation, once redistricting lays bare just how diminished their rural power base has become as a result of declining population, best to shoot for the moon I guess.

  5. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 01/27/2020 - 12:04 pm.

    C’mon, GOP! Voter ID, again? Still?

    Please, try to figure out what questions to ask, which issues to address, and devote some time–any time–to developing solutions to those.

  6. Submitted by Bree M on 01/27/2020 - 05:40 pm.

    Minnesota Constitution Article VII Section 1:

    Every person 18 years of age or more who has been a citizen of the United States for three months and who has resided in the precinct for 30 days next preceding an election shall be entitled to vote in that precinct.

    Note the word entitled. This is not a right the state gives. It is a guarantee. Restricting the voting entitlement is against the state constitution.

    Also note Section 3 of the same article:
    The legislature shall provide for a uniform oath or affirmation to be administered at elections and no person shall be compelled to take any other or different form of oath to entitle him to vote.

    This is harder to parse, but this is an additional restrictions on limiting the voting entitlement. (Note again that this is NOT a right.)

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